I have been attending Mokmin church for about 2.5 years now and as many of you know, my wife and I attend LWF, the English ministry part of MM. LWF has been doing house church for almost two years. My family and I are now members of Kim Hyunsoo’s house church.
I am up here because last weekend, I attended the house church seminar for lay leaders in Houston Texas, and I want to share with you the many things that God had revealed to me during the seminar and how He blessed me at the same time.
My reasons for attending the house church seminar was that after being part of house church for almost two years now, I wanted to learn more about house church, especially to experience first-hand on how God is working through house church at the English ministry at Houston church. The EM is called New Life Fellowship.
We left for the house church seminar on Friday October 10th. There were others from MM and we met early in the morning and drove to the airport. We boarded our plane and landed in humid Houston. I met my host at the Houston airport and we drove to the New Life building at Houston church. The house church seminar began at 1pm on Friday and we finished on Sunday around 12 noon. On Friday and Saturday, we had 2 hours of classes followed by 15 minute breaks, then 2 hours of classes again. It was very intense … I felt like I was in university again.
Afterwards, on Saturday evening I attended my host’s house church and observed how they do house church meetings. We shared a meal, sang praise, had a short bible study and shared about our week (what we were thankful for) and ended with prayer requests. To be honest with you, what I observed was not much different compared to how we do our house church meeting right now.
However, when I look back at the three day seminar, I think I was most impacted by the people that I met and how God was using them to reveal things in my life.
On Friday, when I first walked inside the New Life church lobby, I was introduced to a Vietnamese man. As we began to talk, he shared with me that before he came to New Life he was basically homeless and life for him was hopeless and desperate. Then he attended a church event for non-believers, and met a New Life member who began to serve him and talk to him. Later the member convinced him to attend his house church where at the beginning he probably came to have a healthy meal. But over the years, he began to build deeper relationships with the house church members through sharing and eating together, and eventually he accepted Jesus as his savior. He is now a team leader at church and also a Shepherd. He credits his amazing transformation to the grace of God of course but also to house church ministry. I was amazed by his story. It had only been 15 minutes since I walked into the church building, and I already met someone who was once lost, but was found and is now a disciple of Jesus and he himself is now saving the lost and making disciples. I thanked him for sharing his story with me and as I walked away from him, I got very excited to learn more about how God is using house church.
I also thought about my life and whether I am really trying my best to save the lost by telling them about Jesus and his Good News. We all received the greatest gift ever but are often so passive about telling others about that gift. We see the lost and the blind around us but don’t do much about it. There are many people in my life especially at my office (where I spend almost 10 hours a day) who don’t believe in Jesus. I should be talking to them more often about why I believe in Jesus and what it means to have salvation. Of course, it is not me who ultimately saves them but I want to be the good servant that God uses to do his work.
We also heard testimonies from five shepherds. I won’t share with you all of the shepherds’ testimonies but there was one thing that they all had in common, and it was that they all struggled as shepherds. Everyone one of them shared their difficulties and hardships as shepherds. One shepherd had a VIP, a young university student. They had seen each other on one Friday afternoon and then on the following Monday the VIP got hit by a city bus and died. The shepherd shared that he was very confused, and at times angry with God, and didn`t know why this had to happen.
Another shepherd shared about one couple in their house church who was causing a lot of tension and stress to everyone because of their negative attitude. There were shouts and hurt feelings in their house church, and the shepherds just wanted to give up. They also had a new baby and so were physically and emotionally drained.
Other shepherds had different struggles, but in all cases, the five shepherds did not give up. They continued to pray about their situation and eventually through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit, their situation all improved. Of course, it doesn’t mean they won’t struggle ever again but as they win over each hardship and experience the power of the Holy Spirit, they will have greater hope.
After attending the Houston seminar, I believe house church to be an effective ministry that can bear much fruit and save the lost. But house church is not easy, and for it to work well, we all need to rely on and be equipped by the Holy Spirit; we cannot do it ourselves. I am certain that if we don’t have a deep relationship with our Lord, we will all get discouraged, burn out and feel empty. John 15 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” We have to depend on Jesus every day, study his Words, and pray. Then he will empower us through the Holy Spirit for his ministry, and I think that is the only way we can have hope.
And this will be my prayer not only for myself but also for everyone here.